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2019 NFL Roster Breakdown: Atlanta Falcons

Roster Changes


Key additions

RB Kenjon Barner, TE Luke Stocker, G James Carpenter, G Jamon Brown, DE Adrian Clayborn, DT Tyeler Davison, S J.J. Wilcox


Key losses

RB Tevin Coleman, WR Marvin Hall, OT Ryan Schraeder, G Andy Levitre, DE/OLB Bruce Irvin, DE Derrick Shelby, DT Terrell McClain, CB Brian Poole, CB Justin Bethel


2019 draft class

G Chris Lindstrom (1.14), OT Kaleb McGary (1.31), CB Kendall Sheffield (4.111), DE John Cominsky (4.135), RB Qadree Ollison (5.152), CB Jordan Miller (5.172), WR Marcus Green (6.203)


Projected Starters



QB: Matt Ryan
RB: Devonta Freeman
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Calvin Ridley
WR: Mohamed Sanu
TE: Austin Hooper
LT: Jake Matthews
LG: James Carpenter
C: Alex Mack
RG: Chris Lindstrom
RT: Kaleb McGary



DE: Vic Beasley
DT: Grady Jarrett
DT: Deadrin Senat
DE: Takkarist McKinley
OLB: De’Vondre Campbell
MLB: Deion Jones
CB: Desmond Trufant
CB: Isaiah Oliver
DB: Damontae Kazee
S: Ricardo Allen
S: Keanu Neal


Team Outlook


Notable depth

QB Matt Schaub, RB Ito Smith, RB Qadree Ollison, RB Kenjon Barner, RB Brian Hill, FB Ricky Ortiz, WR Justin Hardy, TE Luke Stocker, OT Ty Sambrailo, G Jamon Brown, DE Adrian Clayborn, DE John Cominsky, DT Jack Crawford, DT Tyeler Davison, OLB Foyesade Oluokun, OLB Kemal Ishmael, OLB Duke Riley, CB Kendall Sheffield, CB Jordan Miller, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, S J.J. Wilcox


Biggest strength: Wide receiver

Atlanta has a former MVP playing quarterback and will hope their offensive line becomes one of their biggest strengths, but it doesn’t get much better than their trio at receiver. Julio Jones is the best wideout in the league and coming off his fifth consecutive 1,400-yard season, Calvin Ridley went for a 64/821/10 line as a rookie, and Mohamed Sanu is a proven veteran that went for a career-high 838 yards last year.


Biggest weakness: Defensive end

Defensive end isn’t a glaring weakness because the Falcons have some upside there, but Vic Beasley has followed up his 15.5-sack season with 10.0 total sacks over the past two years, and Takkarist McKinley hasn’t fully unlocked his potential as the No. 26 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. We’ll see if the young group (including fourth-rounder John Cominsky) is helped by the return of Adrian Clayborn, but the front four simply needs to be better to make another Super Bowl run.


Position battle to watch: Running back

There aren’t really any starting spots up for grabs in Atlanta because of how much the defensive line will rotate, but the third running back job behind Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith will likely be determined in training camp. I think the edge is likely to go to rookie Qadree Ollison—a 228-pound power back out of Pittsburgh—but Brian Hill has experience with the franchise, and Kenjon Barner brings plenty of versatility.


One more thought

The biggest beneficiary of the offseason might be Devonta Freeman, as he will be the clear 1A in the backfield for a franchise that invested first-round picks in right guard (Chris Lindstrom) and right tackle (Kaleb McGary). The rookie duo might struggle a bit in pass protection to start their careers, but they are both gritty competitors that should open plenty of holes in the running game—thus creating more play-action opportunities for Matt Ryan.


Early over/under: 8.5 wins (via CBS Sports)

Over. Health will be key for the Falcons in 2019, as they have all the pieces in place to represent the NFC next February, but depth remains a question mark. Still, despite a very difficult schedule, I think the over is a relatively easy choice based on the overall talent.


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